Meet the Team

We at Acacia are delighted to provide exciting and professional tours of Africa to clients who come from around the world. Similarly, Acacia's international team hails from various continents and from all walks of life. What unites us is our passion for this exciting continent.

From our helpful reservations staff in the UK and in South Africa, to our operations bases, in-country support network, and our on-the-ground drivers and tour leaders, all of our team come from Africa, or have at some point travelled, lived or worked there. Frankly, we love the place, and being experts on travel in Africa, we have in-depth knowledge about our destinations. This means we are more personable, attentive, flexible and willing to go the extra mile to both assist you with your booking, and to ensure a well-run tour in Africa.

Michelle Lewis

South Africa Sales and Marketing

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Where are you from?
Australia

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since Mid 2009 in the office, before that 3 years as a tour leader.

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
It would have to be the GAG28 - Gorilla and Game parks. I have a huge passion for the scenery, people, mountains, game parks, Bwindi gorilla trekking, Jinja for the activities and to highlight the end of the tour... Zanzibar!

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Namibia and Etosha National Park. The night game flood lit waterholes and the vast landscapes of this country is a sure winner.. A must see destination!

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Skydiving in swakopmund, Namibia and my favorite game park has to be Lake Nakuru in Kenya (the flamingo's are at abundance!).

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That travellers cheques are used easily in Africa and yes... it does get cold and it does rain in Africa!

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Bring plenty of small USD notes (great for shopping in the markets!), a universal adapter and a great sense of humour!

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
The whole continent... Too many countries to see!

Samuel Mutuku

Tour guide

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Where are you from?
Kenya

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since May 2006

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
I love the whole circuit from South Africa to Uganda and everything we do on tour.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Uganda tops the best country purely for the people, scenery and the Mountain Gorilla’s.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Game driving and my best game park is Ngorongoro Crater. It is certainly one of a kind!

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
Laughs… it should not get cold in Africa!

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Unpack their sense of humor, it is a hard road but there is so much to see outside the window!

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
I really want Acacia to grow bigger and bigger and offer more alternative routes than any other company in Africa!

TJ Le Roux

Operations

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Where are you from?
South Africa

How long have you been working for Acacia?
As Driver/Guide at Small Groups since 2006. The Overland trucks since October 2009. Operations Department January 2013.

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
The Kenya to Zanzibar(KTA13) and the Livingstone to Cape Town(SWS19). The Mara, Serengeti, Crater, VicFalls all at the right time of the year is spectacular. Driving thru the desert in Namibia is breath taking.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
South Africa – Cape Town. The most beautiful city in the world. The Kruger National Park is probably one of the best national parks in the world. Namibia – The Namib Desert. The scenery changes in Namibia is breathtaking. Uganda – Seeing the Mountain Gorilla in its natural habitat is a humbling experience. The best wildlife experience by far.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Gorilla Trekking. Favourite game park is a toss up between The Mara and the Kruger National Park.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That Africa is always hot and it doesn’t rain.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Come to Africa with an open mind. Africa WILL change your life. When is last the time you did something for the first time?

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Angola? The West Coast of Southern and Central Africa. It’s a route seldom travelled with some of the best beaches and scenery in Africa. Angola only ‘opened’ its borders a few years ago.

Arno Delport

Sales and Marketing Manager (UK, EU, North America)

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Where are you from?
South Africa

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since August 2009

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
Kenya and Tanzania Adventure – KTA13, it’s filled with all the big highlights (Masai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Zanzibar) for those of us with little holiday time.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Uganda has some of the most beautiful sceneries, I have seen. The Gorilla Trekking without a doubt.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Gorilla Trekking at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That Africa is too dangerous, sure certain areas are but so are certain areas within Europe. We avoid those dangerous areas and experience the beauty and excitement Africa has to offer. That Africa is cheap, but these days nothing is cheap and Africa is well worth it.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Enjoy yourself and take in all the magic Africa has to offer. A passenger once told me, on long drives she didn’t sleep and kept looking out the window and you’ll see Africa coming at you, it’s beautiful.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Mozambique, they have brilliant beaches, diving, dhow sailing and a great Elephant Reserve.

Paul Karanja

Driver

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Where are you from?
Proudly Kenyan!

How long have you been working for Acacia?
I have been in overlanding since 2011 and with Acacia since 2006.

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
I love the UAAV39-Nairobi –Livingstone-you get to see gorilla’s, meet the local kids and visit their schools, see the handicrafts such as wood carving, jewelllery and paintings and plenty of great beaches along the way not to forget the wildlife!

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
East Africa-I am from there!! The game drives here are great for visitors as you see the animals so close to the vehicles and great experience. I also love Namibia for the floodlit watering hole at Etosha, everyone who goes there loves it.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
The Maasai walk in the Maasai Mara (being part Maasai myself!) The passengers get a great insight to this famous culture of East Africa. The village walk in Malawi also is a great experience and a nice chance to interact with the locals. The Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater also are top of my list-the wildlife is second to none-mother nature permitting of course!

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
Visitors to Africa should always remember that here things are a lot different from back home, not always does everything run smoothly-this is where the famous TIA (This Is Africa) saying comes from, so be patiently, relax and a smile gets you a long way in Africa.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Come with an open mind and be prepared to have the trip of your life with Acacia!

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Cairo.

Philile Moyo

Driver

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Where are you from?
Zimbabwe

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Recently joined the Acacia team, but I’ve been in Overlanding for the past 10 years

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
I like the whole Cape Town to Uganda circuit

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Uganda – the scenery, people and the gorillas trekking! Not forgetting Queen Elizabeth Kasinga channel

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Gorillas trekking. I love Etosha National Park in Namibia.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That the local people do not speak English and all live in the bush.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
To respect people’s culture, be positive and have peace of mind… Do not compare Africa and Europe and of course, stay away from political discussions with strangers.

Mariana 'MJ' Paulsen

Operations Manager

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Where are you from?
Originally from a small town in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, now living in Strand in the Western Cape.

How long have you been working for Acacia?
I recently joined the Acacia team, but I’ve been in the Overland industry since 1999.

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
Every tour is special and has its own unique highlights, but if I have to choose one it would be the GEN14 to trek gorillas and raft the Nile.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Gorilla trekking in Uganda.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Game park would have to be Ngorongoro Crater and Etosha National Park. Tandem skydiving in Namibia is awesome.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
Tourists often think that it is cheap to travel in Africa and that it doesn’t get cold.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
To come with an open mind and experience new things and don’t compare everything with how it is back home.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Run an overland tour in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has so many wonderful places to see i.e. Zim ruins, Matopos. Hwange to name just a few highlights.

Sikhumbuzo Moyo

Driver

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Where are you from?
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since June 2011

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
DTR19 Namib desert i.e. Dunes, Spitzkoppe and the Fish River canyon. Activities are the Victorai Falls, Etosha Game drive and Chobe game cruise.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Tanzania – Serengeti. Ngorongoro Crater.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Kruger National Park – Always high chances to see the Big 5.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
They will get sick from the food (i.e. meat) and therefore request vegetarian food.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
To bring mosquito repellent, sleeping bag, sunglasses and sunscreen. Make sure to have adequate insurance cover. DO not change money on the street-always ask your tour leaders advice on this. Avoid political debate.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
I would like to see Acacia travel to Morocco and Egypt as I would love to learn more about the Arabian Cultures. Acacia is one of the best Overlanding companies as they have the best trucks, best crew, Operations, workshop, including Marketing means a very smooth and reliable operation.

Harmony Moyo

Driver

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Where are you from?
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since December 2012

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
To be honest, a full circuit is one of the best things as you have lots to see and able to experience the best of Africa. Victoria Falls activities are the most enjoyable activities and of course Serengeti. Ngorongoro Parks are the best and never disappoint.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Namibia is my favourite because of its unbelievable desert and wild animals.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Africa is always amazing with its nature and wildlife. Game viewing at Serengeti National Park I think is always amazing and you’ll never get tired keeping your eyes peeled watching interesting actions around the place.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
They won’t get affected by things like Malaria.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Africa is a beautiful continent but you need to take precautions for things like Malaria, dehydration and HIV/AIDS.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
If there weren’t any new tours running through Zimbabwe and Mozambique, I would have suggested it. But, I’m glad we doing it next season. Garden Route is also one of the most popular tourist attractions and I can say Cape Town to Johannesburg through Lesotho, Swaziland and beautiful places to visit and lots of interest, culture and wildlife.

Elton Fetinandi

Tour Leader

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Where are you from?
Harare, Zimbabwe

How long have you been working for Acacia?
After many years in Overlanding, joined the Acacia team in October 2013.

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
SEA24 – Nairobi to Livingstone, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Zanzbar, Victoria Falls.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Tanzania – definitely Serengeti National Park Zanzibar.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Game drive in the Serengeti.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
How much they can do in a short period of time – and Africa is friendly!

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Take it a day at a time as everyday is different and enjoyable (T.I.A.) Happy Days!

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
I would like to see Acacia doing trips in some other parts of Africa eg. West Africa. Or a Cairo to Cape Town trip, that would give clients more options to book with us and come back to Africa!

Peter Wambua

Tour Leader

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Where are you from?
Kenya

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since March 2012

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
KTA13 – Visit Maasai Mara, Serengeti Ngorongoro Crater to Zanzibar white sand beaches.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Namibia – seeing the dunes – colour changes as the sun goes down is cool, as well as sunrise. Etosha National Park waterholes are great for animal sightings when they come to drink.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Serengeti National Park – seeing the migration of wildebeest and zebra .

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
Some think you can’t get nice things down here eg. I can’t eat meat in Africa, no proper butcheries, but we have nice Supermarkets en route that sell all the nice cheeses, fillet steaks etc. Questions like – “Do locals get malaria?” We get bitten by mosquitoes, and yes we can then also get malaria.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Be very enthusiastic about the places you are travelling to, love the wildlife and people and be friendly.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Ethiopia – different from East and Southern Africa – to see temples and churches.

Jason Slabbert

Workshop Manager

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Where are you from?
Cape Town, South Africa

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since September 2012 and enjoying every moment!

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Nothing beats Swakopmund, Namibia. Fishing, skydiving and quad biking... anything outdoors and in the wild.

Acacia workshop team

Our Acacia workshop team all hold a wealth of knowledge and skills. Find out more on their jobs and roles they play in the company.

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Where are you from?
Name: Matthews Thuso Likotsi (Chocolate) Where are you from: South Africa How long have you been working with Acacia: June 2011 Responsibilities: Chocolate ensures that the trucks get signed out pre-tour in tip top shape. He is on the body team along with Douglas and makes sure the truck's looks like a million bucks

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Name: Emmanual "the road block' Raphoto (Bobby) Where are you from: South Africa How long have you been working with Acacia: April 2012 Responsibilities: Bobby joined the electrical team and he ensures that all electrical components are fully functional.

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
Name: Fernando Kapalasa Where are you from: Malawi How long have you been working with Acacia: Responsibilities: Fernando is responsible for service and repairs on the mechanical team

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Name: Robert Mhlabeni Where are you from: South Africa How long have you been working with Acacia: Responsibilities: Robert is giving everyone a extra hand if required, be it from electrical to sorting out equipment and cleaning trucks.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Name: Temba Taesie Where are you from: Mozambique How long have you been working with Acacia: Since January 2014 Responsibilities: Themba is responsible for the equipment on the trucks. The is also the in house tailor who is responsible for fixing and maintaining the tents.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
Name: Douglas Chimbuka Where are you from: Zimbabwe How long have you been working with Acacia: October 2014 Responsibilities: Douglas is the in house spray painter and panel beater. Its Douglas that keep all the trucks in tip top condition.

George Gathara

Tour Leader/Driver

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Where are you from?
Nairobi, Kenya

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since June 2013.

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
It will definitely be GEN14 because of the scenery, people and of course the Gorillas. Although, SWS19 also offers the best of Southern Africa. My highlights would be game driving in the Serengeti. Ngorongoro – you can’t beat that and the Namibian desert because of the dunes and mountains . My activity would definitely be skydiving in Namibia.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Namibia is my favourite of course after my home country Kenya. The top highlight is always driving through the breath taking desert and getting my mind blown away by the beauty. After 7 years, I never get enough of this and never get bored of the Namib desert.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Activity would be skydiving and quad biking in Namibia. Game park I’ll definitely choose the Serengeti.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That Africa is sunny throughout the year… It does get cold and people in Africa do not stay naked!! We do wear clothes.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Come with an open mind, relax and let Africa surprise you more than you thought.

Susan Kabue

Tour Leader

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Where are you from?
Nairobi, Kenya.

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since August 2014.

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
It will definitely be SWS19 because of the scenery, people and of course the Desert Highlights would be game drive in Etosha National Park– the best game viewing experience especially at the watering holes. My activity would definitely be skydiving in Namibia.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
My favourite activity would be have to be Hot Air Ballooning in the Serengeti - watching the migration move. Truly spectacular! My favourite game park is definitely the Serengeti. A lion haven!

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That Africa is not that cheap and things to cost money.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Come with an open mind, relax and let Africa surprise you. Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why: Definetly Rwanda! Its the cleanest country in East and Central Africa after a chequered past.

Marc Julyan

Driver

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Where are you from?
Calvinia, Northern Cape, South Africa

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since April 2014, been overlanding since 2012

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
My favourite Acacia tour is DTR, EAE and GEN, basically the entire way from Cape Town to Uganda. The vast diversity in climates, landscapes and cultures experienced over this extensive and grand journey gives a great understanding of Africa and its natural beauty. Each activity that Acacia is involved with in each country showcases the beauty and unique treasures each country has got to offer.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Namibia, the Petrified Forest

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Favourite activity: Skydiving in Namibia Favourite Game Park: South Luangwa NP in Zambia

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
We mostly come across misconceptions directly related to bad media. International media seems to exaggerate illnesses, terrorism and civil disputes in Africa, to the point where it affects all parts of Africa. My only advice would be, come and see Africa for yourself, and then decide on how much of the media coverage can be trusted.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Make the most of every moment. Every overlanding tour is over before you think. Do not leave Africa with any regrets.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
I would love to see Acacia travel to Mozambique. This country will offer a unique addition to the already stunning Acacia repertoire. Mozambique with its island living feel and beautiful culture will be a fantastic place to go and travel - Acacia style.

Justin Remekani Phiri

Tour Leader

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Where are you from?
Zimbabwe

How long have you been working for Acacia?
3 Years

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
The African Insight - NAI7 SAI7 Tours HIGHLIGHTS: Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gweru Antelope Park in Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia ACTIVITIES: The mighty Victoria Falls and Big 5 game driving in the Kruger and Hwange National Parks is certainly three of the top highlights on this tour. This certainly leaves everlasting memories for the clients.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
SOUTH AFRICA (Kruger National Park as Highlight), ZIMBABWE (Gweru Antelope Park, Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls as top Highlights), ZAMBIA ( Victoria Falls , Water Rafting , Devil’s Pool , Helicopter Flight and Sunset Cruise on the Mighty Zambezi and more as Highlights).

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Definitely all the activities in Livingstone – white water rafting, bungy jumping, flights and canoeing trips, just to name a few! Kruger National Park - You can’t beat seeing the ‘big 5’ animals and what better park to see this than Kruger!

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That things are not always readily available in Africa – WIFI is the biggest one! Even though it’s starting to be more and more available, it comes at a price and is certainly not up to speed as you would get at home. Secondly, to leave all expectations at home. The countries that may travel are not as developed as what you are used to and most things are done on what we say as “Africa time”

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
To make sure that everyone has checked their visa requirements prior to travel. Secondly, to make sure that they have enough USD cash to exchange along the way as it can be proven difficult to access local money from ATM’s especially with a non-VISA card.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why: MOZAMBIQUE because of its pristine beaches and an array of succulent seafood on offer.

Julius Mutisya

Driver

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Where are you from?
I’m from Nairobi, Kenya

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since 2014

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
It definitely has to be the Desert Tracker tour highlighting my favourite country Namibia. Nothing beats the fun activities such as sandboarding, quad biking and skydiving in Swakopmund; the breathtaking sunrise at dune 45, Namib Naukluft National Park and game driving to all floodlit watering holes in Etosha National Park.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Uganda, Uganda Uganda… This country has the best scenery, wild jungles, mountain gorilla treks and my favourite – rafting on the Nile River.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
I must say I really enjoy horse riding at Kande beach. To travel through the local village and to swim with the horses in Lake Malawi always leaves me with a sense of calmness. In regards to my favourite national park it certainly has to be the Serengeti. The migration movements and wild game are unlike this anywhere in the world.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That Africa doesn’t get cold! During the months of winter… it gets mighty cold in the mornings.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Seeing is believing! Come visit Africa (with Acacia) and it will be the holiday of a lifetime.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why: Ethiopia because of its rich history and ethnic culture diversity.

Sabine Behrmann

Cape Town Manager

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Where are you from?
South Africa

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since 2015

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
This is a tough one as different places are special for so many different reasons. I'd have to include the Chobe Boat Cruise, the Dunes at Sossusvlei, Spitzkoppe, the beaches of Zanzibar, Motobo National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Nakuru National Park and Gorilla trekking as top highlights though.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Namibia is such a special place - the great open spaces take a while to sink into and once you do, you fall in love with the stillness. Spitzkoppe in particular is just amazing - there's something new to discover every time I visit.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
The Chobe boat cruise in Botswana's Chobe National Park has something special about it. Gliding along the water just before sunset there is a feeling of excitement at seeing the wildlife from the water combined with a peacefulness and sense of Africa.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
Distance - most passengers don't realise how far apart things are in Africa, and that convenience items aren't as readily available as in their home countries. And of course there's Africa time...which could be anything from a few minutes to hours to wait on something.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Don't try to control the situations - Africa runs at its own pace in its own time. Sit back and enjoy the experience.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
I'd be keen to see overland travel into more remote areas again instead of on the tour highlights route but this is difficult as there is little access opportunities and most travellers don't know the other places exist.

Mel Lodewyks

Senior Reservations Consultant

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Where are you from?
Cape Town, South Africa

How long have you been working for Acacia?
November 2015

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
KTA13, game drives in the Serengeti NP & Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar - Optional activities - Mangapwani Slave Chamber, Slave Museum

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Sky Diving in Namibia and its multi coloured ever changing sand dunes

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Mokoro ride and scenic flight over the Okavango Delta

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
Lions walking in our streets?

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Be prepared for the unexpected, just experience and enjoy

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Egypt - Pyramids

Gerhard Swanepoel

Driver/Tour Leader

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Where are you from?
Hendrina, South Africa

How long have you been working for Acacia?
4 Years

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
The Okavango Wilderness Trail is my favourite tour with my favourite highlight being Kruger National Park and activity scuba diving in Mozambique.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Namibia and Dune 7

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Rhino trekking in Matobo National Park

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
Lions are everywhere and Africa is a country, not a continent...

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Bring a head torch, and a bandana, you'd be surprised how often you get to use them.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
The Congo river - The vast amount of species endemic to the Congo, from fish to birds, frogs, insects and several mammal species, is astounding, add to that the various different ecosystems in and around the multiple Congo basins, it seems like a fun adventure.

Sam Wanyaga

Driver

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Where are you from?
Kenya

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since April 2013

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
The 19 day Desert Tracker. The Namibian scenery is the highlight and hiking the sand dunes, sky diving and Okavango Delta excursion are great activities.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Malawi, the lake is the top highlight as well as the people themselves.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Game walk and drive in South Luangwa National Park. Its very wild!

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
Some people think Africa is not safe and Ebola is in all countries, only to realise when they get here its not like that and there are similarities to their own countries.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Be patient and have fun! Happy days.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Rwanda, its such a beautiful country with such a rich history and culture.

Vivian McCarthy

General Manager

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Where are you from?
Wellington, New Zealand

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
My favourite is the Kenya & Tanzania Adventure. I love East Africa and you really can’t beat this trip for wildlife.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Kenya. I can’t decide whether I prefer the central highlands, around Mt Kenya , or the arid north near Samburu National Park, or the Rift Valley and Maasai Mara (for the scenery almost as much as wildlife). Or the beach. I learned to scuba at a small settlement near Mombasa and vividly remember how good it felt to float weightless for the first time beneath the waves.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Nothing quite beats the Maasai Mara at around 5-6pm just as the sun sets. It’s peaceful and calm, you feel the heat radiate off the ground and the dusk come over the land. It’s as if the whole world is about to go to sleep – when in fact Nature in the form of the abundant predators and their even more abundant prey are about to do their nightly dance of run and pursuit.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That all countries are the same. They aren’t. Even neighbours can differ markedly in custom culture and language. A bit like Europe. Also that Africa is always dangerous. What nonsense. Yes you have to take care and use common sense when travelling , but where is that not true? People in Africa are the friendliest I have ever met.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Take things as they come. If you do have preconceptions, try to leave them at home. Come with an open mind ready to be surprised, and don’t forget your sense of humour. An important asset when travelling in my opinion. Some things will make you laugh.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
My first trip to Africa took me across the Sahara. It might be a long time before Acacia take tours back there but I love the desert and would like to see us do more in Namibia which has an ancient desert – the Namib – as well as many rugged and remote areas still to be explored. Also parts of Zimbabwe are waiting for tourists to return. And Mozambique. We have a 2 week tour that passes through which I’d love to see become more popular.

Richard Poolman

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Crispen Zimbiru

Tour Leader

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Where are you from?
Harare, Zimbabwe

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since 2014

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
I love the Desert Tracker from Cape Town to Victoria Falls with the Dunes and Delta. Lake Malawi is also great - and I enjoy the Serengeti NP and Ngorongoro Crater

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Tanzania - there's so much great wildlife here. It's just amazing.

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
I'd have to say both Etosha NP and the Serengeti NP

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
There's a lot of strange information out there about illnesses like Malaria and what the zones are where one should seek protection. Also the visas from country to country - many nationalities get these at the borders en route but are told in their home country that they must get them in advance at a great expense. It's frustrating for the travellers when they see they could have saved a lot of money this way.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Africa is a safe continent open to travel and the people are friendly.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Mozambique is on my bucket list - I'd like to get into the water there for the amazing diving and fishing activities.

Jodene Rix

Reservations Supervisor

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Where are you from?
Proudly South African. Born in the Eastern Cape but my heart belongs to Cape Town.

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Since May 2016

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
ALL of them! But if I had to choose, The DTR19. In Namibia – skydiving and quad biking, and in Vic Falls – bungee jumping and abseiling.

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Uganda and the Gorilla Trekking

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
Serengeti National Park and favourite activity would be skydiving in Namibia.

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That it’s all the same. Africa is so diverse and beautiful and can change drastically from one town to the next let alone from one country to another.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
To relax and ENJOY! Not everything will always go according to plan, and that’s ok. Africa lives by its own standards and runs on its own time - Be open to the experience.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Morocco and Egypt. Both countries have so much beauty and are so rich in culture and history that needs to be explored!

Ben Salano Livwege

Acacia Driver

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Where are you from?
Kenya

How long have you been working for Acacia?
Seven months (since July 2016)

What is your favorite Acacia tour, highlights and activities?
Desert Tracker - I love Sossusvlei and the Dunes!

What is your favorite country and your top highlight of this country?
Namibia - I enjoy visiting Etosha and Spitzkoppe the most

If you could choose a favorite activity and game park what would it be?
White water rafting on the Nile in Uganda (Jinja) and the Serengeti is just amazing

What are some of the common misconceptions about Africa that passengers have?
That animals are everywhere in Africa just after they leave the airport. That Africa is one country - South Africa being the capital city.

What travel tip would you give to first time overlander's?
Set your expectations - read the tour dossier and documents and come to have a good time, regardless of how the real deal differs from your expectation. Africa is amazing and you will love it - just give yourself the opportunity to see and do things differently.

Where would you like to see Acacia travel to in the future and why?
Shorter Kenya and Tanzania overland trips, or more in Uganda and Rwanda